Break out the gin toddies, folks, because I’m back. Well, not all the way. But stay tuned and after a completely unintentional summer-long hiatus, I’ll be back this week. And I’ll even buy the first round. Smooch -s
First, thank you so much for the very kind, supportive comments on Hurricane Plants last week, and I’m sorry I’m only now getting around to replying to them. We’re still in semi-quarantine, but Dane has an appointment with a specialist this week and I’m hoping we’ll get some more information on Thursday. In the meantime, I’m spending my writing time staring at a blank screen and raging against a villainous, nefarious, rash-causing something. But really, bloggy peeps. Deeply. Thank you.
And now back to our regularly scheduled snark.
My husband is gainfully employed, for which I am deeply, deeply, truly, deeply thankful. And because of his gainful employment, and because this blog is on this newfangled dagnabbity contraption called the internet, and because prospective employers apparently can make you log into The Facebook during an interview these days (WTF, PEOPLE?), I will tell you only hypothetically of a conversation that may or may not have occurred between the two of us a while – quite a while, now, actually - back.
Me: Did you read my blog post?
Husband: Which one?
Husband: Heheheheheh. Heheh. Heh.
Husband: Okay, fine, yes. It was funny.
Husband: Well, I was thinking of writing an ode to my (insert obnoxious-but-not-really-offensive-1984 -word for manparts here).
Me: That. Would. Be. Awesome.
And since that moment, all those weeks ago, I have time and time again wondered: what WOULD my husband say to his manparts, given the opportunity? So, with no further ado, I present:
An Imagined Letter From My Better Half to His Manparts
So, manparts. Do you mind if I call you Towering Fortress of Manliness? Giant Turkey Leg of Awesomeness? Or Harvey? I’ve always liked the name Harvey. Harvey, it is.
p.s. We scored on that wife thing, huh?
Yes. Hurricane plants.
Do you know the ones I mean? When a storm’s coming, a hurricane plant turns itself inside out so all that’s visible are the white undersides of the leaves. It’s disconcerting, foreboding, even, to feel the wind and see the purple-black sky and watch those plants curl over themselves, tucking under that shell. Google says they’re philodendron, but I thought they were hibiscus or some kind of palm. I should ask my mother. She would know.
Dane’s been sick for two weeks with no sign of abatement. His illness is changing, sure, but we’re progressing from one kind of bad to another, instead of into varying shades of better. His issue is not life-threatening. It’s not chronic, nor will it scar him or change his health outcome in any way. He has a nasty, untreatable virus that’s having some nasty aftereffects, and by the time we go to the beach in July, the whole episode will be a blip on the screen of an otherwise sunny spring. But. BUT.
I’m crouching over him anyway. I’m in the right now, and I’m tired and worried and there’s nothing I can do to help. We just have to have patience, which, as you may imagine, isn’t in my wheelhouse. My grandfather wasn’t the only rustic frontier-independent Texan in my family. You get in the way of my child, and like any good parent, I will move you. Only you can’t move a virus. Reason it off a ledge. Threaten it with a broken beer bottle (Stay green, Ponyboy. Stay green.). You can’t make a doctor, or drug, or your mother or husband, fix something when the only solution is time. And most importantly, I can’t fix him. Instead, I’m curled over him, not because I’m mother of the year or because I reasoned out the answer in a spreadsheet, but because it’s the only thing I know how to do. I feel like a failure. Helpless. And let me be clear. That helplessness? I HATE IT.
I’m not asking for sympathy. I know there’s much, much worse out there, and there are much stronger people who deal with those problems. Dane’s virus will pass and he’ll be back to picking up earthworms and rushing toward the future at lightspeed, and I’ll flip over some leaves and signal the bartender for another drink. But for now, I’ve tucked this baby under me and we’re just waiting, and praying, for the weather to pass.
Well, hello, ladies! Am I late to the party? I can almost always blame my husband for our tardiness, but this time I blame Dane, who has a crazy two-week long viral rash thing happening. Thank you, snugglebuggy. Deeply.
What am I talking about, you ask? (Or, privately amongst each other: Has she finally lost it? Gone the way of the fruit loop? Marbled out?) No, no, you doubting doubters. I’m just linking up with I Was a Senior Hottie at the eleventh hour, because it took me an entire week to dig out my old photo albums and come up up with some pics from 1995 (UGH. REALLY?), and then it took me even longer to come up with pics from the last six months. For real. I have, like, two. So go check out a belle, a bean & a chicago dog, read all those brave ladies who posted their high school pics along with their faces right now, and judge all you want. Because in a world where high fashion means pleated cream pants tapering to the ankle and matching cream clogs, I am Serena Freaking van der Woodson.
(That’s right, I said it. I WATCH GOSSIP GIRL EVEN THOUGH I GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL IN 1995. Don’t judge.)
What am I, the Washington Monument? Yeesh.
p.s. I’m pretty sure this whole outfit is from Express, back when Express sold stuff that wasn’t made out of snakeskin-print lycra and actually covered your butt.
p.p.s. Tapered, pleated pants. Really.
Aw, prom. How cute was my date? (Look away, honey, look away.) In case you’re not from Texas, he’s wearing a Texas tux: all business on the top, party on the bottom. I wore this poofy dress about three years before they were in style. Un-ironically. And even though I was the only one at prom not wearing a sequined mermaid dress, I loved it (which makes me sound way cooler and more forward-thinking than I actually was, trust me).
You can’t see it, but that’s a Spuds Mackenzie t-shirt I have tucked into those high-waisted, ripped jean shorts (shorts that, by-the-by, used to belong to Aunt Brookie, standing to the right). I wore that tee/short combo for at least three years of high school and pretty much all of college. Because they were COOL, y’all.
Also, John Lennon called, and he’s never wearing his glasses again because, well, I ruined them. (Yes, from the grave. WHAT.)
Also, also, Aunt Brookie, did you really think I wouldn’t drag you into this? That’s what you get for being my fashion icon.
Our Christmas pic from last year. I promise, I’ve had all kinds of haircuts since high school; it’s total coincidence that I’ve ended up with 1995 hair again, all these years later. At least now I have a Chi and an assortment of bedazzled hats. Speaking of which:
With the yummy puppy on his first birthday, in a glorified trucker hat and costumed as a dog groomer as imagined by Britney Spears. Y’all. Did I mention the yummy puppy? DEE. LISH.
Hold the phone, y’all, here’s one that more accurately captures what I look like on a regular day: hair all amess, hiding behind sunglasses because I may or may not be wearing makeup, hiding behind child because, let’s face it, he’s way cuter than me.
Oh, and HELL YES I instagrammed the heck out of that picture. We all look better with a little Lo-Fi, don’t you agree?
Did I mention 1995? UGH.
That is all.
As of April 24, 2012, I’ve been married eight years.
I’ve been trying to write a post about marriage for two weeks, and not taking into consideration all the other stuff I’ve been doing, I keep getting stuck on how to begin. I’ve come back to:
(1) Shouting MAW-WAGE a la The Princess Bride and then making an analogy about building an immunity to iocane powder to being married (and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, shame on you), or…
(2) Getting stuck on how many posts about anniversaries start with “Eight years ago I married my best friend.” Because, well, I didn’t.
Don’t get me wrong; I married someone with whom I was very much in love and wanted to spend the rest of my life, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say he was my one-and-only bestie. My fiancée came in a close third or fourth after my sister and my mom and maybe one of my girlfriends from kindergarten and a college roommate. We’d never shared a bathroom stall, for example. Spent an eighteen-hour period drinking Red Dog and watching Friends reruns. Walked an hour across Vegas at 3 a.m. because we couldn’t get a cab after a Dave Matthews concert. Had a nuclear blowout over a leopard print outfit from The Limited and a coordinating Units belt. We didn’t go to middle school, high school or college together. In fact, we never lived in the same town before we were married, and only lived in the same state for nine months of our three-year courtship. So, well: no. Not exactly.
Marriage is hard (yes, I know: DUH.). It deserves honesty, and loyalty, and the ability to look at the worst in yourself and your partner and not flinch. My husband and I have very different temperaments, but we’re both (1) stubborn as mules and (2) fighters, each in our own way. We’ve fought over everything from where to live to how to spend money to how to fight. We moved across the country together, and then across an ocean. We had a baby. When things were hard, and there were times when they were, we fought for each other. We’ve learned that happiness is a choice and not a right, and that very few things worth doing are easy. That the things that matter most are worth not just fighting for, but forgiving.
So, no, I’m not going to blow smoke up your ass and say I married my best friend. Unequivocally, however, I’m married to my best friend today. He’s solid and loving and a great father and sometimes a know-it-all i(nsert insulting word for the male species here). Some days I can’t wait for him to get home and occasionally I can’t stand to be in the same room with him, but there are rarely ever days where I don’t feel deeply, deeply satisfied with my choices in life.
That’s the trick about marriage, too. It sneaks up on you. When I look back at the last eight years, it seems like before is just this surreal place I once lived. The memories of before are great; they made me who I am. But the now is so much richer. So it sort of bugs me when someone says I married my best friend, because that’s not exactly my story, and I feel like it’s implied that it should be. In my story, we had to live together, be married, be partners, to build what we have now, and it’s made me a believer. I believe in us. I believe we’ll make it because we had to work through our differences, and we had to find out who we were individually, and who we were together, and even though it wasn’t always easy, and won’t be in the future, we did it.
Did you miss me? Long for my presence? Pass the time of my absence in loneliness and despair? Take up the banjo? Meet someone and run off to Mexico? No? Bummer. I missed you. Trust me.
Want to know what I’ve been up to? Conveniently, it’s almost Monday. Yay! Well, sort of! Okay, not really! But for Monday Listicles this week, I’ll catch you up on some things I learned about Kansas, leather goods and my child over the last three weeks.
1. I hid from this:
I would make some comment about the madness of seeing a tornado out the back window of Aunt Brookie’s house (just before we all dashed into the basement for, oh, an hour), but really: duh.
2. I bought boots. And other stuff, but really, boots. Cowboy boots. Embroidered with doves. Did I mention boots? Oh yes. Boots.
3. Aunt Brookie coined a new phrase: mommystalker. As in “Please stop staring at your child in the video monitor, you mommystalker.” And at first, I was all hey, nice, A.B., and then it hit me. She’s right. Damn.
4. With two nights left, Dane’s last overnight diaper developed a puncture wound (an overzealous diapering mommy might have caused this. I won’t name names, but…). So: duct tape. And you know what? Worked like a charm.
5. Dane’s cousins tested his masculinity. He passed.
In sixteen years, he’s going to KILL me for this.
6. I discovered I’m raising the next David Beckham. Although I would prefer NOT to see him in his underwear on a billboard. Which is something I never thought I’d say about my child, but there you go.
7. We watched a daily live show of construction out A.B.’s breakfast room window. Dane can now identify, by sound only: a cement mixer, a backhoe, a dozer, a plumbing van and a Land Rover. That’s right. My next call is to Mensa.
8. Black beans + Dane bored in a restaurant = Smearage
9. Wait, scratch David Beckham. Dane’s going to be the next Paul Tuetel, Jr. Only with better hair.
Why yes, Dorothy, that IS a chopper made out of Legos.
Also, Legoland rocks. There are some words I never thought I’d say, and I lived in Denmark. But there you go.
10. Thank God, his cousins are cool. Otherwise, Dane’s screwed.
Fabulousness is genetic.
Hey, Little Man.
Yes, I’m writing you letters again. No, this time I promise I won’t mention the glad wrap incident or all of your embarrassing nicknames. (Well, I might mention one or two, snugglebuggy. What? I’m still the mommy here.)
You’re awfully busy, friend. Today I looked through a doorway and found you pushing your fire truck down the hall and muttering whee-eww, whee-eww under your breath. You won’t go outside without your ball cap, and you think your basketball goal is the coolest toy you’ve ever seen, except for the motorized Jeep owned by the three-year-old down the street. I would call him spoiled but you’re getting one for Christmas next year. Don’t tell Daddy.
I still refuse to cut your hair, and I’m sure at seventeen you’re going to look back on photos at this stage of life and complain to me about your shag. But I love to run my fingers through those curls and feel the under-damp after your nap, and oh, the smell of it, baby, the smell. I could eat you, if you weren’t so busy with your trains and toy motorcycles and mow-mow, and leaking mucus from here to kingdom come. I love all of you, mucus included, but I’ll pass on getting personal with your snot unless it’s a medical necessity. Some day, you’ll understand.
You’re trying to get words into sentences now, and you’re gleeful over rolling banana slices around your placemat like wheels, and unless you’re asleep, you’re stuck on turbo speed. Every morning and every afternoon, we go out and wave at the school bus, and the driver, Mr. Greg, stops and waves back at us. Today, you opened and closed your fist, asking him to honk. You love lawn equipment of any kind, the mail truck, the garbage truck, your green plastic shovel (DIG! DIG!) and Puppy (who, by the way, has developed an odor despite many, many washings. We’re going to have to address this, posthaste.).
I don’t know, little man, about this growing up business. Of course I wouldn’t want it any other way. But when you’re racing around the house at a thousand miles an hour, all I want to do is scoop you up and breath you in and hold you. We’re not getting these moments back. It’s not always easy and it’s almost never perfect, but as your father has observed in the past, things in our house are at their best when they’re just a little sideways. So when I cover you in kisses or cut off your air supply by hugging you too tight or insist on wiping you down with one last Boogie Wipe, have patience with your mama. You’re headed towards warp speed, baby, and all I want, to paraphrase a country song, is a slow down.
p.s. That puppy thing has to happen. Sorry, little dude. Puppy needs a dip.
p.p.s. Hey, Yeah Write folks: I wrote this last week and linked up with Alison at Mama Wants This and Galit at These Little Waves for Memories Captured, so if you’ve already read it, I’m sorry! I’m out of town for a few weeks and more behind than usual. Thanks, y’all! -s